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Academic Program Guide

Music Composition

College: Music
Degree: Bachelor of Music
Limited Access: Yes

Contact: Dr. Joanna Hunt
Address: 204-D Housewright Music Bldg, Tallahassee, FL 32306-1180
Phone: (850) 644-4833

Description of Major

*Please Note: Face-to-face/in-person instruction of this program is available ONLY at the main campus in Tallahassee, FL. This program is NOT available via Online/Distance Learning.*

The program in Music Composition prepares students to become professional composers, performers, and scholars. Entering students audition to determine placement in applied music classes. Students choose as a principal instrument the piano, organ, voice, harp, guitar, a string, woodwind, brass, or percussion instrument. A complete recital of original works during the senior year (MUS 4970) is required to assess competency. Graduates receive the Bachelor of Music (B.M.).

Prerequisite Coursework

Students should complete the following courses in preparation for placement in upper division status:
MUT X111, X112 (3, 3) Basic Theory I, II
MUT X116, X117 (3, 3) Basic Theory III, IV
MUT X241, X242 (1, 1) Sight singing I, II
MUT X246, X247 (1, 1) Sight singing III, IV
MUN XXXX (4) Courses in Ensemble
MVX XX1X (2-4) Applied Music
MVX XX2X (2-4) Applied Music
Secondary Piano--proficiency by examination
(or MVK X111 & MVK X112 & MVK X121 & MVK X122 as needed to achieve piano proficiency)

Additional recommended courses: MUH 2512, MUL 2110, MUS 1010, MUC 1211 and 2221.

Note: State-wide common prerequisites are always under review. For the most current information and for acceptable alternative courses, visit the “Common Prerequisites Manual.” This is available from the “Student Services” section of .

Admission Requirements to the Major
All entering students must meet appropriate minimum standards through a placement audition (heard by a faculty jury) in applied music before being granted admission to the College of Music.

Additional requirements, including submission of a portfolio of compositions, must be met for admission to the Composition major. Contact the College of Music for details.


Major Program of Studies: (89-91 hours required)

Applied Music (16 hours)
MV_ 1311-1316 (2, 2) Applied Music Principal
MV_ 2321-2326 (2, 2) Applied Music Principal
MV_ 3331-3336 (2, 2) Applied Music Principal
MV_ 4341-4346 (2, 2) Applied Music Principal

Composition majors must pursue study of a principal instrument through (and complete by jury) the MV_ 4341-4346 series.

Applied Secondary (6 hours)

Non-keyboard principals complete the following courses:
MVK 1111, 1111 (1, 1) Class Piano
MVK 2121, 2121 (1, 1) Class Piano
MVK 3131, 3131 (1, 1) Class Piano

Keyboard principals complete 6 hours in music electives instead of these Class Piano credits.

Basic Music Theory (16 hours)
MUT 1111, 1112 (3, 3) Basic Theory I, II
MUT 1241L, 1242L (1, 1) Sight singing I, II
MUT 2116, 2117 (3, 3) Basic Theory III, IV
MUT 2246L, 2247L (1, 1) Sight singing III, IV

Advanced Music Theory (14-16 hours)
MUT 3280 (2) Post Tonal Aural Skills
MUT 3421 (2) Eighteenth Century Counterpoint
MUT 3422 (2) Eighteenth Century Counterpoint OR MUT 4411 (3) 16th Century Counterpoint
MUT 3541 (3) Form and Style: Classic OR MUT3551 (3) 19th Century Styles
MUT 3571 (3) Twentieth Century Styles OR MUT 4572 (3) Music Since WWII
MUT 4311 (2) Orchestration OR MUT 4321 (3) Wind Band Arranging

Composition (19 hours)
(Students must successfully complete MUT 1111, Music Theory, and 1241L, Sight singing, prior to enrolling in Composition).
MUC 2221 (2, 2) Composition
MUC 3231 (3, 3) Composition
MUS 3541 (3) Digital Music Synthesis
MUC 4241 (3, 3) Composition

Ensemble (6 hours)
Woodwind and brass freshmen and freshmen transfers register for MUN 2460 (Chamber Music) during the first Spring and second Fall terms. (String freshmen and freshmen transfers must register during the first two Fall terms.) Woodwind, brass, or orchestral string sophomores and other transfers register for MUN 2460 or 4463 during the Fall semester of the first year of residence. At least 3 hours of ensemble credit must be earned at the 3000-4000 level.

Student Recital Attendance (0 hours)
MUS 1010 (0) Entering freshmen must register for this course for six semesters. Transfer students, consult advisor.

Senior Composition Recital (0 hours)
MUS 4970 (0) A recital of compositions by the composition major is required during the senior year.

Music History/Lit. (10 hours)
MUL 2110 (2) Survey of Music Literature
MUH 2512 (2) Music Cultures of the World
MUH 3211 (3) Survey of Music History I
MUH 3212 (3) Survey of Music History II

Other Music (2 hours)
MUS 2360 (1) Introduction to Technology in Music
MUG 3104 (1) Conducting

Digital Literacy: (3 hours)
One of: CGS 2060 (3), CGS 2100 (3), CGS 3406 (3), EME 2040 (3) or other University approved course that meets this requirement.

Oral Communication Competency: (1-3 hours)
Students must demonstrate the ability to orally transmit ideas and information clearly. This requirement may be met with an approved college-level course.

Minimum Program Requirements - Summary
Total Hrs. Required 120
General Education 36*
Major Coursework 89-91
Minor Coursework 0
Digital Literacy 3
Oral Competency 0-3
Other Coursework 0
Electives to bring total hours to 120

*NOTE: Up to Nine (9) hours from Music History, Music Literature and Music Theory may be used to partially fulfill requirements in General Education.


Mapping is FSU’s academic advising and monitoring system. Academic progress is monitored each Fall and Spring semester to ensure that students are on course to earn their degree in a timely fashion. Transfer students must meet mapping guidelines to be accepted into their majors. You may view the map for this major at


1. A minimum of 45 hours at the 3000 level or above, 30 of which must be taken at this University.
2. Half of the major course semester hours must be completed in residence at this University.
3. The final 30 hours must be completed in residence at this University.

Employment Information

Salary Information: For more information go to: National Association of Colleges and Employers ( or the Occupational Outlook Handbook ( provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Representative Job Titles Related to this Major: Composer, Conductor, Performer, Choir or Choral Director, Instructor.

Representative Employers: Junior Colleges, Conservatories, Colleges, Entertainment Centers, Universities, Recording Studios, Publishers, Record/Music Companies, Private Clubs.

View Music Composition Academic Map